Primal Fear - City National Grove of Anaheim - May 15, 2014
"We got into Southern California earlier, and we were hit by a heat bomb!" yelled lead singer Ralf Scheepers, of German Power Metal group Primal Fear, during the concert at the Grove of Anaheim on Thursday night. Primal Fear's stop in Anaheim was part of the band's world tour, 2014. And although the venue in Anaheim was not full to capacity, there were enough dedicated head bangers up front to maintain an appropriate level one would expect at a metal show.
The band earned a spot on our recent list of Top 10 Power Metal bands for good reason. The band's classic, Judas Priest-inspired riffs and traditional heavy metal sound coalesce live, with bassist Matt Sinner, drummer Randy black and guitarists Alex Beyrodt and original founding member Tom Naumann. The chemistry on stage between the five group members was palpable in the air and the energy level was at a constant high, as each member bolted across the stage during most of the band's 90-minute set.
See also: The 10 Best Power Metal Bands
Fans forgot about the heat earlier in the day, and head banged, fist pumped and sang along to favorites including older songs 'Chainbreaker,' 'Nuclear Fire,' 'Seven Seals,' and 'Fighting the Darkness,' among many others. The band made sure to include songs from their entire career of ten studio albums, including the newest release, Delivering the Black(2014).
During the new songs, 'One Night in December,' and 'When Death Comes Knocking,' fan interaction increased exponentially, as most in the audience began fist pumping, head banging sing along with Scheepers, in anthemic Power Metal style glory.
Although the sound was immersed in traditional old-school heavy metal, equal doses of aggression, groove and melody all made the songs seem symphonic and orchestrated, which echoed throughout the venue which held less than 300 people.
Guitarists Beyrodt and Naumann were never in a single spot and was always bouncing, jumping and rattling around with their axes, even battling it out with simultaneous electrifying solos, as fans rocked out just below the stage.
Primal Fear's set list
1. Final Embrace
2. Alive and on Fire
3. Delivering the Black
4. Nuclear Fire
5. Seven Seals
6. One Night in December
7. Angel in Black
8. When Death Comes Knocking
10. Fighting the Darkness
11. Bad Guys Wear Black
12. Metal is Forever
The Crowd: Most of the longhaired fans wore shorts, denim and black t- shirts featuring mostly Power Metal bands like Helloween, Iced Earth, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. The crowd was a good mix of Power Metal Geeks, both men and women (no offense) and even some younger new school metal fans as well. Odd as it sounds, the amount of beer consumption at this show was lower than most other metal shows, as only a few fans sipped on cups of $8 beers.
Random Notebook Dump: The band was formed in 1997 in Germany, after vocalist Ralf Scheepers was not chosen to be a replacement for Judas Priest singer Rob Halford. Many critics have claimed the band's sound and even image is too similar to Judas Priest, but fans at the Grove didn't seem to mind.
Critical Bias: Aside from his attempt to become the new singer of Judas Priest, vocalist Ralf Scheepers also sang for fellow German Power Metal heroes Gamma Ray, in the early 90s. He eventually founded Primal Fear with bassist Matt Sinner.
Overheard in the Crowd: After the concert in the parking lot, three long haired fans with clear European accents all stood smoking cigarettes talking about Power Metal. "I don't know what it is, but the last Power Metal band I saw here was Helloween. The band was fucking awesome, but the show was the same way, not too many people either!"